“As a campaigner, Hillary can do a shot and a beer better than Barack Obama can,” Shapiro says. So there’s that.
As a reporter and columnist for Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, USAToday, Esquire, Salon, and other publications, Walter Shapiro has covered nine presidential elections and the nation’s politics for four decades. He is currently a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University and a lecturer in political science at Yale while he finishes a book about his great-uncle, a vaudevillian and con man who once swindled Hitler.
Shapiro is also an accomplished Hillary-ologist, having first interviewed Hillary Clinton in the Arkansas governor’s mansion for Time in September 1992. In early May, Shapiro sat down with Prospect editor-at-large Harold Meyerson to talk about a question he’s internally debated for years: On balance, would a Hillary Clinton candidacy and presidency be a good or bad thing for the liberal cause?
To put it crudely, the dilemma facing the Democratic party comes down to this: Will Dems decide next time to stand with the working people, or will they stick with their big-money friends in finance and business? Some twenty years ago, Bill Clinton taught Democrats how they can have it both ways. Take Wall Street’s money—gobs of it—while promising to govern on a heart-felt agenda of “Putting People First.”
Over at The Washington Post, the usually sensible Greg Sargent endorses the notion that divisions among Democrats are “mostly trumped up.” The tension between the Wall Street wing of the party and the Warren (as in Elizabeth) wing is an overblown fiction of a press corps desperate for some action.
It’s true that the prior divisions on social issues have dissipated, as liberals have swept the field. Obama’s halting attempts to wean the US from its foreign wars have garnered widespread support. And on economics, Sargent argues that Democrats “largely agree on the menu of policy responses to the economic problems faced by poor, working and middle class Americans — a higher minimum wage, universal pre-K, higher taxes on the wealthy to fund a stronger safety net, job creation and job training — whatever the broader rhetorical umbrella is being used.” Even Hillary says she agrees with Thomas Piketty that extreme inequality is a “threat” to our democracy. Continue reading Economic Populism at Heart of Emerging Debate Among Democrats | Bill Moyers→